Vikes face top-ranked Cougars offence in Canada West quarter-finals

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by James Nielsen, Vikes Communications

February 18, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball squad will travel east to open their Canada West post-season run, February 21-23 against the University of Regina Cougars in a best-of-three quarter-final series.

LIVE STREAM & STATS

After finishing third in the Pacific Division with a 15-7 regular season record, the Vikes will make their second straight post-season appearance under head coach Dani Sinclair. It is also the second-straight year the Vikes will face the Cougars in their opening playoff round.

The Vikes were the second-best road team in the Canada West this season, posting an impressive 9-2 record away from McKinnon Gymnasium. They are also playing the best ball of their 2013-14 campaign, winning eight of the previous 10 games leading up to the post-season.

2013 Canada West Rookie of the Year Jenna Bugiardini (Hamilton, ON) continues to impress in her sophomore season, leading the Vikes on offence with an average of 14.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per-game. Fourth-year Vikes Jessica Renfrew (Victoria, B.C.) and Cassandra Goodis (Penticton, B.C.) have stepped up to provide leadership and consistent scoring for their squad, posting 12.9 and 8.9 points-per-game, respectively.

Fourth-year Sarah Semeniuk (Oakville, ON) has provided a strong inside presence for the Vikes this season, leading in rebounds with 6.8 per-game. Both Semeniuk and teammate Jenny Lewis (Fall River, N.S.) have posted 184 points on offence, while teammate Shaylyn Crisp (Victoria, B.C.) also hit triple-digits with 173 points during the regular season.

The Vikes enter their series against the Cougars ranked fourth in Canada West scoring and second in three-point field goal percentage behind the Cougars.

The two sides will open their quarter-final series Feb. 21 at 5 p.m., Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. and, if necessary, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. All times listed are in PST. The games will be broadcast live at http://UVic.canadawest.tv

SCOUTING THE COUGARS

Regular Season Record: 20-2

Projected Starting Five: Nicole Clarke, Katie Polischuk, Alyssia Kajati, Charlotte Kot, Jennilea Coppola

The Cougars enter this year’s post-season on a 16-game winning streak and currently boast the top scoring offence in Canada West. Nicole Clarke has been the definitive leader on offence for the Cougars, averaging 17.6 points-per-game, while Jennilea Coppola ranks first on her squad in rebounds, averaging 7.2 per-game.

In total, the Cougars feature nine players in triple digits in scoring. They hold the Canada West’s No. 1 scoring margin (23.1) and are the No. 1 rebounding team in the conference (49.0). Regina head coach Dave Taylor has led his squad to the Canada West championship game in each of the past six seasons.

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